The Hunger Games cast ages: How old were the actors then (and now)?

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Actors Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence attend the "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2" New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on November 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Actors Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence attend the "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2" New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on November 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage) /

The Hunger Games book series by Susan Collins came out from 2008 to 2010, and its popularity resulted in a film adaptation within just a few years. The series explored a dystopian future where children from 12 to 18 are chosen to compete in a death arena every year as penance for their ancestors’ rebellion against the government.

For a franchise that focused so much on the exploitation of children, casting was always going to be a controversial point, as many children were destined to die in gruesome ways. However, fans overwhelmingly approved of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, and the rest of the cast received similarly positive reviews.

However, like most American franchises, the majority of the actors were older than the characters they portrayed. Read on to learn how old each of The Hunger Games‘ stars was during filming, when their final appearances premiered, and how old they are now.

The Hunger Games franchise is currently streaming on Hulu and Peacock Premium.

How old was Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games?

When The Hunger Games began filming, Jennifer Lawrence was 20, while her character Katniss Everdeen was still just 16. By the time Mockingjay Part 2 was released, she had turned 25. Lawrence is now 33, turning 34 in August. Over the last decade, Lawrence has taken on several more mature roles, including her recent role as Maddie in the R-rated film No Hard Feelings (2023).

How old was Josh Hutcherson in The Hunger Games?

Josh Hutcherson played Peeta Mellark and was 18 years old during filming, Hutcherson was the closest of the lead actors to his character’s age. When the series ended in 2015, he was 23. One of Hutcherson’s notable roles at the moment is his casting as Mike Schmidt in the upcoming Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, which will be released just 15 days after his 31st birthday.

How old was Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games?

Liam Hemsworth’s character, Gale Hawthorne, was 18 in the first movie, but the actor was already 21 when they started filming. He was then 25 when Mockingjay Part 2 premiered. Hemsworth’s most recent film saw him starring alongside Russell Crowe in Pokerface (2022). He is now 33 years old and is set to replace Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher.

How old was Woody Harrelson in The Hunger Games?

Woody Harrelson took on the role of grizzled mentor Haymitch Abernathy, capturing the character’s combination of anger and defeat. However, when filming began, Harrelson was 50 years old, 10 years older than the character was intended to be. While this was a significant age difference, it played well to show the premature aging that came from the strain of life in Panem. By the end of the series, Harrelson was 54 years old. His pattern of playing younger characters continues to this day, as the 61-year-old actor has taken on the role of E. Howard Hunt in 2023’s White House Plumbers.

How old was Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games?

Like most residents of the Capitol, Effie Trinket’s age is hard to work out. But actress Elizabeth Banks was 36 at the time The Hunger Games started filming. By the end of the series, she had turned 41. Banks hasn’t done much acting in recent years, but she did have a cameo in The Boys in 2022. She has turned to directing in the last ten years, with her recent horror comedy Cocaine Bear (2023) coming out just 14 days after she turned 49.

How old was Willow Shields in The Hunger Games?

Primrose Everdeen was frequently the heart of the series, and Willow Shields was the perfect fit. She was only 10 when filming began, turning 12 (Prim’s age) just after the first film was released. This really helped drive home just how young the children were when they were entered into the reaping. When Mockingjay Part 2 came out, Shields was still only 15. Her career has flourished over the last eight years, playing Serena Baker in 2020’s figure skating series Spinning Out and working alongside Bruce Willis in Detective Knight: Independence (2023). She is now 23, the same age Josh Hutcherson was when the series ended.

How old was Donald Sutherland in The Hunger Games?

Donald Sutherland played the detestable President Coriolanus Snow but despite the fact that the character was meant to be 82, Sutherland was actually only 75 when the movie’s filming began. At the end of the series, Sutherland had turned 80, nearly as old as his character would have been at the start. Moving to the present, Sutherland is 87, turning 88 on July 17. He recently starred as the titular character in Mr. Harrington’s Phone (2022).

Tom Blyth will play a younger version of Coriolanus Snow in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023).

How old was Stanley Tucci in The Hunger Games?

Stanley Tucci played the master of spin himself, Caesar Flickerman, a character the books said had looked the same for at least 40 years. As one of the only actors who was actually younger than his character, Tucci was 50 when filming for the series began and 55 when the last movie premiered. At 62, his career has continued to thrive, with Tucci currently playing Bernard Orlick in the spy series Citadel (2023).

How old was Paula Malcolmson in The Hunger Games?

Although few fans would think of Mrs. Everdeen (a character never given a first name) as a main character, she is one of only nine characters to appear in all four Hunger Games films. At the start of filming, actress Paula Malcolmson was 40, turning 45 before Mockingjay Part 2 came out. Malcolmson recently starred as Colette Cunningham in the Irish crime drama Redemption (2022). She is now 53 years old.

How old was Lenny Kravitz in The Hunger Games?

While Lenny Kravitz’s character, Cinna, was only in the first two films, his impact can be felt through them all, in Katniss’s dramatic outfits as well as her more vulnerable moments. Cinna’s age is unknown, but fans will probably be surprised to learn that Kravitz turned 47 just days after filming began for the first movie. When

Catching Fire premiered in 2013, he was 49. Just under a decade later, Kravitz is now 59 years old. He played Sean Hawkins in 2022’s Shotgun Wedding, but the majority of his work in the last few years has been dedicated to promoting his 2018 album Raise Vibration.

How old was Amandla Stenberg in The Hunger Games?

Rue may not have survived long in the franchise, but she earned her spot in any discussion of the franchise. Played by Amandla Stenberg, Rue was 12 years old when she entered the arena. Stenberg was the only cast member to actually be the same age as her character throughout filming, turning 13 between the filming and premiere. At 24, her career is currently thriving, with notable credits including voicing Margo Kess (Spider-Byte) in Across the Spiderverse (2023) and Ozi in Ozi: Voice of the Forest (2023). She has also been cast as the lead in the Star Wars spin-off series The Acolyte, which is expected to air in 2024.

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